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Insurance Premiums Why They Vary

26th February 1960
Page 66
Page 69
Page 66, 26th February 1960 — Insurance Premiums Why They Vary
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

PAY a gross vehicle insurance premium of £203. You allow £103 and I should be glad to know where I can get cover for this rate." This is the substance of a letter from a reader referring to an article which appeared in this series on January 1.

In compiling " ' The Commercial Motor' Tables of Operating Costs," as with this series of articles, they are made of use to as wide a range of readers as possible. In the goods field this would include operators of A-, Band C-licensed vehicles.

Apart from this aspect, when calculating insurance costs, a decision has to be made as to the type of insurance which can be considered to be " average " over the whole range of users. Any such decision must be arbitrary, but it has to be made.

In the case of the eight-wheeler instanced in this particular article, the initial cost was given as £4,070. Annual insurance premiums could range from £103 for comprehensive cover when operating under C licence to £219 under A licence under the scale of premiums which was used in this example. Alternatively, and still under A licence, but with only third-party cover, the annual premium would be £121. Third-party cover under C licence would cost approximately £54. Further variations would be introduced, depending on whether the user dealt with tariff, non-tariff or underwriting offices.

In choosing the annual premium of £103 the same policy was adopted-as is used in the "Tables." In the calculations headed, "Total Operating Costs," whether per mile or per week, the premise is.that such premiums would be equally relative to professional and ancillary users. Thereafter, the column headed, "Minimum Charges," includes an allowance for overhead costs which should be sufficient to cover any variation in insurance premium. The difference between the £103 quoted in the article and £203 mentioned by the reader would amount to an additional £2 per week, or the equivalent of 0.60d. per mile where 800 miles per week were averaged.

ADVICE the method of arriving at tyre costs is required

by a Yorkshire operator, He asks whether to compute cost per mile per tyre, or whether the calculation should be made for the cost per set. He also wants to know what is a fair average fuel consumption for a " quality " four-wheeler with a carrying capacity of 8 tons.

The basis for calculating tyre costs, both in these articles and in the "Tables," is on the total cost for a set, excluding the spare. In practice, many operators now put the spare wheel and tyre from a new vehicle directly into stock. But, even where this is not done, a policy of including the spare in the total cost of the set results in an incorrect and inflated impression of the mileage life achieved.


A four-wheeler, such as the reader mentioned, would, of course, require six tyres and the total cost per Lyre, tube and flap would be around £35 5s., or approximately £212 per set. On a mileage life of 30,000, the tyre cost per mile would be I.7d., or 1.27d. at 40,000 miles.

Fuel consumptionvaries widely. For the purpose of the "Tables," 13 m.p.g. is, considered reasonable for this type of vehicle. Incidentally, a similar figure was returned by a vehicle of this class on road test by The Commercial Motor (January 29). Assuming oil fuel was purchased in bulk at 3s. 10d. per gallon, a fuel cost per mile of 3.54d. would be obtained.

PRE'VIOUSLY employed in passenger work, a man who now drives a C-licensed 5-tonner alleges that he is being underpaid and asks whether there is anybody to whom he can make a complaint. There are no statutory rates of pay for workers employed on C-licensed vehicles, although some trades have their own wage agreements, which also include any staff who may be employed in ancillary transport departments. The petroleum and milling industries are examples.

Any worker employed on a C-licensed vehicle, however, may complain to the Minister of Labour if he considers his wages to be unfair. Any such complaint to the Minister must be in writing, giving the following details: (1) Worker's name and address, (2) employer's name and address, (3) nature of employer's business, (4) worker's occupation, (5) nature of carrier's licence, capacity of vehicle and area of operation, (6) whether the worker is paid by the hour or the week, normal gross wage and number of hours worked, together with particulars of any other payments such as bonuses, and (7) the reason why the remuneration is considered unfair.

One of the standards by which the Minister may deem a wage to be fair is that it should not be less favourable than the equivalent of that which would .have been paid had the work been done by a vehicle operating under an A or B licence, or paid by other employers in the district engaged in the same trade or industry. N operator outlines three successive daily duties and asks whether the hours worked would be legal as applied to driver of a C-licensed vehicle. The details are as follows: anday, 7 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 1.30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Ltn. to Ii a.m.; stand by in garage until 6,50 p.m. (including hour's lunch break); then work until 11.30 p.m. .Wednesday, 3 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.

The relative extracts from Section 19 of the Road Traffic A, 1930, briefly summarized, are as follows: It is unlawful 7 a person to drive for any continuous period of more than

hours, or for a continuous period Of more than 11 hours any 24 hours, or not to have at least 10 consecutive hours rest in any 24-hour period.

Applying these requirements to the details of the three ys' duties given, no driving period appears to exceed 51 urs, or over 11 hours on any day. In addition, more than hours' rest is available to the driver between finishing duty d starting the following day on each occasion.

It is difficult to comment on any duty which may be worked either Sunday or Thursday, because no details are' given, t on any working day ending at 11.30 p.m., as on Tuesday, would not be possible to start again at 7 a.m. to do a spell duty similar to that shown for Monday.

The only other point remaining to be decided. before it can agreed that these duties comply with Section 19 is the, Dcise construction to be placed on the words, "stand by in -age." Section 19(2)(b) says that any time spent by a driver

other work in connection with a vehicle or its load shall reckoned as driving time. Consequently, if a driver was so rployed while standing by in the garage, he would be doing spell of duty which included 8 hours 40 minutes actual ving, and 6 hours 50 minutes on duties which would legally deemed driving time, giving a total of 15 hours 30 minutes, rich would, of course, be illegal.

[ERE is another recent poser: A maintenance engineer is given employment on the understanding that he provides own car, for which he receives a fuel allowance. The lick is a small van registered as a private car owned, istered and insured by the engineer. Following the posility of police action against the engineer for failing to have licence, and against his employer for aiding and abetting, int asked to say what is the precise legal position on the lowing points: (a) Whether the owner of the van is entitled to register the vehicle as a private car, and whether he can then carry equipment and materials in connection with his trade or profession, assuming that he is properly covered by insurance,

,(b) Whether the vehicle owner must obtain a C licence and whether he would then be able to carry his employer's goods while engaged on installation dutieS.

(c) If his employer has to obtain a C-hiring licence, would he be responsible for keeping proper records as required under the Act?

It is an offence for any person to use a goods vehicle on the road for the carriage of goods, whether for hire or reward or in connection with any trade or business, except under licence. In this context a goods vehicle means a motor vehicle constructed or adapted for the carriage of goods.

Carrier's Licence Necessary

As a van would come within this definition, it would be necessary for it to be operated under a carrier's licence when delivering any goods, no matter how small the quantity or how infrequently they might be carried, Although there is an exemption from this requirement to cover travellers' samples or fitters' tools, it could in no way be extended to include equipment or materials used in maintenance or repairs.

It is the construction, and not the manner of registration, of a vehicle which determines whether a carrier's licence is necessary. In the circumstances mentioned, the van would therefore require a carrier's licence. But if it were possible to employ a private car (a vehicle not primarily constructed for the carriage of goods), a carrier's licence would not be required, even though the engineer might be doing identical work and journeys.

Assuming that the goods which would be carried in the van 'belong to the employer, and not to the engineer, it would be necessary for the C licence to be taken out in the name of the employer. Moreover, the regulations insist that any driver of such a vehicle shall be an employee of the licence holder.

A current record (a log sheet) containing particulars as prescribed must be compiled by every driver of vehicles operating under a carrier's licence, and it is the responsibility of the licence holder to ensure that such records are kept. These requirements apply whether the van is operated under a C licence,with the vehicle owned by the employer, or under a C-hiring arrangement, when, presumably, the van would be the property of the engineer. S.B.